Innocence In Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market

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In Christina Rossetti’s poem, Goblin Market, innocence is shown to be a quality which is possessed and cannot be exchanged through typical means; if it can be exchanged at all. The first stanza directly specifies who is hearing the goblins’ spiel: “Morning and evening/Maids heard the goblins cry:”. The goblins are calling to young, unmarried girls---who are, even by most modern standards, the portrait of innocence. The stanza goes on to describe in detail the kinds and qualities of the fruits which the goblins are selling. The innocence attributed to the “maids” in the first stanza is perfectly painted in the second with the introduction of the two central protagonists, Laura and Lizzie. As if virginal, young girls are not already innocent enough, Laura and Lizzie are presented in the pastoral. They are introduced among…show more content…
None of the fruits are from the same group, family, or season. Typically when a work uses flora or fauna as some form of symbolic imagery, it sticks with a single family or type in order to both solidify and simplify the sort of idea which the author wishes to convey. However, in Goblin Market, what connects the kinds of fruit that the goblins are selling appears to be the qualities of the fruit itself. The fruit is so plentiful that it nears excess. Words like “unpecked”, “swart”, and “plump” are all used to describe various fruits that are for sale. Fruit typically is associated with femininity; Eve in the Garden of Eden, as a holder of seeds which bears children, as something that blooms in spring. However, Goblin Market’s fruit also exhibits quite a few strikingly masculine qualities. Juice from the fruit is sucked by Laura and covers Lizzie after the goblins ravage her. Between both the very feminine, child-like Lizzie and Laura and the masculine, overly intelligent goblins; the fruit is neither masculine nor feminine and neither childlike nor
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